Sunday, January 22, 2006

Personalized learning

Clarence Fisher has an interesting post about personal learning. He makes what maybe should be a very obvious statement, and yet it's something that I know I lose sight of. He says:
Personalizing learning is a complex task in a classroom filled with 20 + students. But personalizing learning is not about us doing the personalization; it is about teaching our students how to become learners...
It is interesting to me how we as teachers, as adults, frequently/often/almost always assume that we are the ones who have to make the decisions about what each student/child needs and should want.

Clarence goes on to say:
We must find ways to slowly shift the responsibility of providing content and questions from ourselves to our students so that we can spend our time doing the much more valuable tasks of helping them achieve this goal. It is a complete shift. From teacher as content provider, to teacher as director and supporter of learning.

I need to think about how I can apply this to my own situation. I have planned this semester to give students more freedom in what they wrote about, but I am still basically supplying the vast majority of the content and structure.

I guess I justify not letting students personalize their own learning more by saying that we have so much that they have tolearn and there isn't much time left over for anything else. But I wonder if that is really true. I think that I could do much better than I have been in this regard. I will be on the lookout for ideas on how to incorporate more of this kind of personalized learning into my classes as we move through this semester. Maybe next fall I will have some of it worked out and worked into my program.

Anyway, check out the whole post over at Remote Access.

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